As the scope of the devastation brought on by Cyclone Idai continues to unfold in Southern Africa, Canadian aid agencies are working together to rush emergency assistance to survivors.
Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe have been hit by what may be the worst ever disaster to strike the southern hemisphere, according to the UN. Vast regions have been flooded, destroying infrastructure and claiming hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives. An estimated 2.6 million people have been affected and the need for food, water, sanitation and shelter is urgent.
Eight leading Canadian aid agencies are uniting their efforts and resources through the Humanitarian Coalition (HC) to raise funds for this crisis and respond to the needs of survivors as quickly and effectively as possible.
HC agencies were on the ground at the outset of the disaster, involved in search and rescue operations and airlifting supplies to areas that are inaccessible by road. They are providing tents, water and emergency supplies in all three of the affected countries. Special attention is being given to the protection of women and children, particularly in camps of displaced people. Workers on the ground report that families with children are struggling the most.
Commons has sent an initial $5000 to be matched by the Canadian Government to Care Canada to aid in the response and we will continue to follow the development to see how we can respond.
You can follow Care’s response through their website at www.care.ca
Hands at Work
We are also in touch with our ongoing partner Hands At Work as they respond to those in need. Commons continues to support the efforts of Hands at Work monthly.
Due to the mountainous location of the communities we serve in, they did not face the brunt of the flooding. However, consistent heavy rains over four days and four nights from the south have caused the loss of more than 70 homes of the children we care for.
As we seek to understand the devastation and impact that this has had on the most vulnerable children we care for, pray for the local office team in Chimoio, and the Regional Support team, for guidance on how to address the urgent needs of our affected families. Pray for wisdom as we connect with government services and other aid agencies to support our children and Care Workers in the best possible way.
As light rain continues to fall, homes continue to collapse due to the unstable ground saturated with rain water.
As we seek to mobilize the local church in Mozambique to respond and take action in meeting the urgent needs within their communities, pray for a willingness and open eyes to see the devastating need within their communities.
The total loss of crop due to the cyclone will have a devastating impact on the year to come, as many will face a twelve-month long hunger season.
In Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe we can expect in the coming weeks and months for there to be an increase in water-borne diseases and malaria. Please pray that we will be well equipped to care for the health of our children.
Thank you for standing with us in prayer.